|Clarence V. Royce|
|First appearance||"Time After Time" (episode 3.01)|
|Last appearance||"React Quotes" (episode 5.05)|
|Reason/Cause||Loses re-election; succeeded by Tommy Carcetti|
|Aliases||X Mayor Royce|
|Episode Count||16 episodes|
|Portrayed by||Glynn Turman|
Clarence V. Royce is a former Baltimore mayor played by Glynn Turman.
Mayor of Baltimore Clarence V. Royce is a deft political figure and is fixated on remaining in power. Royce is the incumbent Mayor of Baltimore who was elected into office in 1998 and is in the process of seeking re-election. He is ably advised by his chief of staff Coleman Parker and also takes counsel from State Delegate Odell Watkins. Royce values loyalty amongst his people and aims to reward it whenever it will not hurt his position to do so. He appointed Ervin Burrell as acting commissioner following the retirement of Warren Frazier.
Royce first appears at the demolition of the Franklin Terrace housing projects as a means of demonstrating reform throughout Baltimore. With a new election approaching, Royce's advisor and chief of staff Coleman Parker notices the ambitions of first district councilman Tommy Carcetti who has been criticizing police commissioner Ervin Burrell at the public safety meetings over Baltimore's crime rate. Parker explains that as Carcetti's district is getting its share of funding and political influence, he must be planning a run against Royce for Mayor. Royce initially scoffs at the idea of Carcetti becoming mayor due to his race in majority African American Baltimore claiming he is in the wrong town to run for mayor.
It is sensed however that Carcetti will most likely exploit the crime figures that have increased under Royce's administration. Seeing that this will be Carcetti's campaign foundation and that Royce's administration is unable to find support from Carcetti's district (Carcetti represents the first district, a district populated by white ethnics who have a history for voting against Baltimore's African American politicians), Royce calls on Commissioner Burrell to reduce the felony rate citywide. Royce orders the police department to reduce felonies by a minimum of 5% in each district and keep the murder rate below 275 for the year in order to counter Carcetti's campaign. When crime rates begin to rise Royce is urged to sack Burrell by Parker and State Delegate Odell Watkins but is reluctant to do so because of his loyalty. Burrell is in the meantime critical of State's Attorney Demper whom he blames for the lack of casework going through the courthouse. Demper is supported for his loyalty to Royce but is not well regarded by Watkins who views him as being more interested in his elected position than the pursuit of justice. When Watkins mentors Marla Daniels to take the seat of Royce council loyalist Eunetta Perkins in the eleventh district, Royce responds by holding up her husband's promotion and supporting Perkins.
Royce's propensity to put the stability of his own position ahead of the needs of the city creates political enemies for him. Tommy Carcetti seizes on Royce's unwillingness to entertain diverting funds into a witness protection scheme as a reason to criticize their administration drawing the support of African American politicians such as Odell Watkins in the process. Councilman Tony Gray, an African American ally to Carcetti also decides to run against Royce on the platform of education reform. Gray initially suggests that Carcetti run as his vice mayor as he feels that is the safest choice for Carcetti given Baltimore's African American majority. Carcetti however is advised by Theresa D'Agostino, his professional campaign fixer to have Gray and Royce both remain in the race as a means of diverting the city's African American votes.
When drug tolerant zones set up by police district commander Howard "Bunny" Colvin were exposed in Western Baltimore, Royce is urged by Parker to fire Burrell immediately. Seeing the drop in crime citywide, Royce considered keeping them running under a different name as a means of finding a middle ground in what had happened. Parker realized that it would be a disaster to support them despite this along with Delegate Watkins. Watkins warns Royce of the lack of support from both the ministers and city council members and how the government on local, state, and federal levels would use the opportunity to "piss on the city from a great height." Royce continued to entertain the idea of extending the experiment under a different name with support from States Attorney Steven Demper and several public health officials. Burrell in the meantime feared Royce was using this disaster to put the department's commanders in the "guillotine" and decided to go to Tommy Carcetti as a means of alerting the media to the drug sanctioned zones. After the press got wind of "Hamsterdam", Royce saw the error of his ways and with Parker threatened Burrell for the fallout. However Burrell turned Royce's hesitation to his advantage by threatening to expose the Mayor's consideration of the project with the help of his "liberal do-gooders" and his orders to "juke the stats" in the department for re-election purposes as a means of keeping his job. Burrell then offered an alternative to grant him a full term as police commissioner- he would offer Colvin as the scapegoat for Hamsterdam taking the rest of the blame on the department preventing City Hall from finding out any additional facts pertaining to Royce's consideration of the drug sanctioned zones. Needing Burrell to buffer between the city council members and the Mayor's office, Royce complied with Burrell, granting him his term as commissioner against Watkins' wishes. Parker and Royce however secretly agree to fire Burrell once they win re-election.
Royce's election campaign is a well-oiled machine. Parker is an effective fundraiser and Royce is booked into many high profile speaking opportunities with property developers to push his motto of reform and development. Royce receives massive contributions and fundraising help from developer Andy Krawczyk. Royce retains state senator Clay Davis as his deputy campaign chairman. Royce is given more reason to be displeased with Burrell when these key political figures's records are subpoenaed by the police department's major case unit. Davis in particular is outraged and visits Royce personally to tell him that he never asks where his money comes from suggesting that it is potentially corrupt coming out of West Baltimore in a large amount. He warns Royce though to protect him if he wants funding for the campaign to come from Davis. Royce then displays this anger to Burrell who then assures that there will be no more surprises within his department.
Royce has an adulterous relationship with a female assistant. He is caught receiving oral sex in his office by one of his security detail, Thomas "Herc" Hauk. He later checks with Parker to see who Herc's friends are in the department and considers having him reassigned. Royce then talks with Herc, asking his career goals in the department and why he chose the mayor's detail. Herc claims he did it to move up on the sergeants list, and Royce then immediate calls Burrell to have him promoted. (Major Valchek spoke with Herc about the oral sex incident and predicted the promotion would occur in the way that it had).
Royce's campaign receives its first major setback in the debates. Carcetti drops a bombshell on Royce when he uses news of a recently murdered state's witness in an answer taking the opportunity to accuse Royce of ignoring his request for witness protection in Baltimore - Royce is unaware of the killing and unable to respond adequately. Royce's campaign then goes downhill as Carcetti has now grasped a sizeable amount of Black voters.
Royce gets more angered when Commissioner Burrell fails to successfully downplay the witness investigation and promises to fire Burrell at Parker's request following an election victory. Furthermore, Royce is criticized by Delegate Watkins who is instrumental in keeping Royce eye to eye with the city council members. Watkins is angered by Royce's support of both Marla Daniels and her opponent Eunetta Perkins who he promised to drop from his ticket. Furthermore, Watkins believes that Royce is more interested in appeasing the developers who have funded his campaign and the large sums of money that Royce has been illegally collecting on the side. Watkins also believes that Royce has disregarded the city's African American community stating that he is hiding behind Marcus Garvey campaign posters to win their vote. Watkins then breaks with Royce after claiming that he is immoral and unable to keep his promises. The security detail to Royce notices this and informs Deputy Rawls who believes that Tommy Carcetti can do better things for their police department. Carcetti gets Watkins' support and with Watkins' support, Royce loses the election.
Tommy Carcetti - Clarence Royce - Clay Davis - Norman Wilson - Tony Gray - Michael Steinorf - Nerese Campbell - Odell Watkins - Marla Daniels - Theresa D'Agostino - Coleman Parker - Damien Levelle Price